HB 7022, pending in the Connecticut General Assembly, would require the Department of Administrative Services, by 10/1/15, to develop a standard checklist for construction projects of school buildings. The checklist would include, but need not be limited to, testing for polychlorinated biphenyls and asbestos.
The bill would also require the Department of Administrative Services to establish a school building project clearinghouse for the collection and distribution of school building project designs, plans and specifications. Such clearinghouse shall consist of a publicly accessible database for the collection and storage of relevant publications and school building project designs, plans and specifications that have been approved by the DAS.
Perhaps most important for municipalities, the bill would allow grant applications to be accepted by the Commissioner of Education and added to the list prepared by the Commissioner of Administrative Services prior to the municipality securing funding authorization for the local share of the project costs IF the municipality has scheduled and prepared a referendum, if required, the results of which shall be submitted on or before the fifteenth day of November in the year of application. This is significant because it allows municipalities to avoid referenda which traditionally, because of the June 30 grant application deadline, have occurred in municipal budget season. Further, this bill would allow municipalities to place the appropriation on their November ballots, thus avoiding the cost of separate referenda. Ciulla & Donofrio certainly supports HB7022.